Saturday, March 23, 2013


In today's New York Times, Joe Nocera discusses new gun safety technology and expresses exasperation about resistance from the firearms community. But really, what does he expect?
For nearly two months, my assistant, Jennifer Mascia, and I have been publishing a daily blog in which we aggregate articles about shootings from the previous day. Of all the stories we link to, the ones I find hardest to read are those about young children who accidentally shoot themselves or another child.

... why can't we come up with a technology that would keep a gun from going off when it is being held by a child? Or, for that matter, by a thief using a stolen gun? Or an angry teenager who is plotting to use his parents' arsenal to wreak havoc in a mall?

It turns out -- why is this not a surprise? -- that such technologies already exist. A German company, Armartix, will soon be marketing a pistol that uses radio frequencies that prevent a gun from being used by anyone except its owner.... There are others who have invented similar technologies.

Why aren't these lifesaving technologies in widespread use? No surprise here, either: The usual irrational opposition from the National Rifle Association and gun absolutists, who claim, absurdly, that a gun that only can be fired by its owner somehow violates the Second Amendment....
Nocera talks to a Silicon Valley entrepreneur named Alan Boinus who thinks this acceptance will come:
"The market will prove this out," he said. "People want to be responsible. People want safety."
I don't believe that. As far as I can tell, the gun community doesn't want safety and doesn't want to be responsible -- not if we gun-grabbing liberals are the ones who seem to be defining safety and responsibility.

And that seems to be the case:
Last week, there were two important meetings about gun personalization technology. On March 13, in Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. met with several dozen advocates.... The purpose of the meeting was to get Holder up to speed on the technologies so he could make recommendations to President Obama.

The following day, in San Francisco, Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded by citizens of Newtown, Conn., publicly launched its "innovation initiative" in collaboration with some Silicon Valley venture capitalists and entrepreneurs....

The innovation initiative, which will make grants, and even award prize money for good ideas, includes an emphasis on gun personalization technology.
If gun control advocates want the gun community to embrace this concept, they should stop promoting it. Otherwise it's going to wind up like green energy: many right-leaning heartlanders will never, ever embrace alternatives to fossil fuels for their homes and cars, no matter how much they may hate many of the countries that sell us those fossil fuels, because alternative energy is hippie-liberal technology. So, yeah, Saudis, keep taking our money.

Same thing here. You'd think, if done right, that biometrics would fit beautifully with the notions of personal autonomy that fuel the gun culture. It's my gun! I bought it to protect my family! Therefore I get to program in the identities of those who can use it! Freedom!

But no -- we're the ones who want this. So I strongly suspect that they never will.


D. said...

Screenwriters would hate that though. Gun possession transfer is their Get Out Of Fight Free card.

Victor said...

The NRA has the same mantra as the GOP;
"Do any, and every, thing you can to piss-off the Liberals."

This technology seems like a "no-brainer" - which is exactly why the 'no-brain' crowd will fight to the death against implementing it.

Puck was wrong.
It wasn't "mortals" - what he/she/it should have said, was "Lord, what fools these 'Morans' be!"

Examinator said...

Methinks you're over thinking this.
However you're right the take up of this technology will be poor in safety terms.
Because... Show me a (particularly a current) fire arm owner who believes that they aren't already RESPONSIBLE...enough.

It's OTHER people's children "I've learned mine good on how to handle guns ...rahhh!"

It will be OPTIONAL ... Fire arm purveyors will see the money spent on the device as 'their money' to buy a better (more expensive ) weapon... it might be a cost block to any purchase.

It'll confuse the missus

it'll stop the missus or kids from defending themselves against terrorists/rapists and gov'ment if'n I'm not there. (huntin')

Oh yes "this thing-me-jig is more Liberal nanny state nonsense"

In reality there will be a "fix" (sic) on the internet within weeks

What man makes , man breaks

Locks only Keep honest people honest ...
It doesn't stop the buyer with intent
In short Me , me , me Me me ME

Ten Bears said...

"(Y)eah, Saudis, keep taking our money." So too Israelis, genocidial maniacs (with guns!) recognized throughout the civilized world as an Aparthied State. The problem isn't that they take the money, Steve, it's that we give it to them.

Semites all by definition, though tangential to the topic at hand.

As I sit here in my bedroom/den/office surrounded with near sixty years of living I sit but ten feet from a hunting rifle and revolver I have for thirty-five and forty years. As a veteran I am thoroughly familiar with automatic and semi-automatic weapons, not to mention other sanctioned weapons of mass destruction, and down through the years have handled numerous "assault" weapons only to find them pretty much worthless. On a number of levels. Foremost in my particular worldview an old deer rifle and revolver are far more innocuous to the jack-booted thugs kicking in your door than any assault (at which juncture a short barreled shotgun would be a far more effective Darwin Award nomination) weapon. Not to mention they are about as accurate at fifty yards as my ten year grandson with the single-shot bolt action twenty-two my grandfather gave me at ten. One might hit the broad side of a barn with fifty rounds sprayed like coffee ore the keyboard, but the nature of a hinting rifle is of sniping, and of a revolver cold calculation. All of which is a long winded agreement (not an easy feat with one these new fangled stupid phones) with the Examinator: everybody *thinks* they are responsible, and it's just not gonna' happen.

They has been fingerprint, palmprint, technology out there for twenty years that can be programed to just one or several shooters, much as my old Jaguar remembers who is about to drive and adjusts the seats, mirrors et al accordingly by which key is inserted in the door.

No fear...

Examinator said...

Ten Teddies
I agree I was being sarcastic.
It's a bit like people who tell me they are exemplary parents and their children are angels (yer right!!)
I have no such illusions about ours ...I remember with discomfort much of my youth and it wasn't that pretty.
I know from experience that most shooters simply aren't as good a shot or even competent with fire arms under stress as they think they are.
I have no such illusions personally.